Dow-DMCR-IUCN takes mangrove conservation to the next level in the fight against global warming and marine debris
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Dow-DMCR-IUCN takes mangrove conservation to the next level in the fight against global warming and marine debris

Dow Thailand in collaboration with the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) recently held a signing ceremony for a cooperation agreement on the “Dow & Thailand Mangrove Alliance”.

The collaboration aims to advance the conservation of mangroves along the coast of Thailand covering five provinces on over 5,000 rai of land to reduce the impact of global warming and marine debris sustainably. The pilot area will be in Paknam Prasae sub-district of Rayong Province.

Mr. Chatchai Luanpolcharoenchai, Dow Thailand President, said, "Two of the most challenging problems the world is facing at the moment are climate change and plastic waste. To holistically address both problems, we have initiated and supported the Dow & Thailand Mangrove Alliance. Mangroves have the best storage capacity to store carbon dioxide, helping to reduce global warming. The trees also act as traps and filters for marine litter. This collaboration has been built upon Dow’s 12 years of ongoing mangrove forestation project in Thailand and this year it will be taken to an international level. We aim to run the project for at least five years with a minimum budget of 30 million baht supported by Dow." 

“Dow and Thailand Mangrove Alliance will conduct a pilot project in the Paknam Prasae sub-district, Rayong Province, before expanding to other provinces according to the 5-year plan (2020-2024). The key objectives are to reduce global warming and eliminate plastic marine debris. The holistic project will take mangrove conservation to the next level and engage public and private sectors and surrounding communities. Networks for the restoration and preservation of mangroves will be set up to ensure balanced benefits among the environment, the economy, and society.”

“The collaboration will mark the first time in Thailand that a carbon credit mechanism from mangrove forest will be set up for continuous and sustainable conservation. Total solutions for marine debris will also be incorporated into the project by creating a model for waste management in the conservation area, passing on waste management knowledge to the communities and visitors. The Prasae natural classroom will be renovated and promoted as a blue carbon destination. Therefore, this project is not only for the forestation of mangroves but also for solving global warming and plastic waste problems practically.”

Mr. Sopon Thongdee, Director-General of the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources, explained that, "Increasing mangrove area is important and urgent as mangroves can store five times more carbon dioxide by area than terrestrial forests. They retain garbage, preventing it from entering the sea and provide a marine species nursery for fisheries. DMCR is delighted that Dow and IUCN have volunteered to work together with the public sector and truly hope that the communities and people around the mangroves who visit the natural classrooms will play a role in mangrove conservation and learn to practice waste separation at source to reduce marine debris." 

Dr. Rajpal Singh, Asia Regional Deputy Director of the International Union for Conservation of Nature. 

Commented that, "Mangroves are globally recognised as having an enormous capacity for absorbing carbon dioxide, the main cause of global warming. In other countries, there is a mechanism called carbon trading, where the amount and value of greenhouse gas emissions from mangrove forestation is calculated. Interested parties can make a payment for forest conservation in exchange for carbon credits, which can then be used to offset the emissions caused by their organisations. There is no such mechanism for mangroves in Thailand yet. We hope that this collaboration will be the first one. It will elevate Thailand's mangrove conservation to an international level."

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